Perry Kivolowitz was an adjunct faculty member during the 1998 and 1999 school years. He developed the department's first course in Computer Graphics. In 2006, he rejoined the department in an administrative and teaching capacity.
He has founded or co-founded seven companies in fields ranging from digital visual effects and computer graphics to the music and healthcare industries. Two of these grew to more than 30 employees.
In 1992 he received an Emmy certificate for his work on the award winning television series Babylon 5.
In 1996 he received an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement for the invention of shape-driven warping and morphing which is still considered state-of-the-art. Notable early example uses of this invention include the films Forrest Gump and Titanic. Today, thousands of films have been touched by software to which Perry has contributed with more added every day. Interestingly, Perry's original invention of shape driven warping and morphing was instrumental in the creation of the original Titanic and newer technology to which Perry contributed helped bring Titanic from 2D to 3D years later.
During the Sesquicentennial celebration of the University of Wisconsin, Perry was selected as one of the 150 Ways The University of Wisconsin Has Touched The World.
Perry's passion for computers and computer science began in the early 1970s and was inspired by Michael Crichton's Terminal Man. In the late 70's Perry learned the C programming language by reading the source code of Unix version 6 (received directly from Ken Thompson) and the Empire game by Peter Langston. Of historical interest, the first computers Perry developed on was the HP 9835B followed by the IBM 1130 and the Univac 1110. Most enjoyable were his years on the PDP/LSI 11 series and the Commodore Amiga in the ecosystem of which he was a well known figure.
Perry is credited with inventing the RAM drive that survives system crashes in 1986 and published the source code to the first known keylogger demonstrating the need for greater security in the Unix operating system.
Perry holds three United States patents: